Spiritual Strength Training: Life’s Challenges Can Make Our Faith Stronger
Focus on the Family President Jim Daly asks: Do we allow our circumstances to define God or allow God to define our circumstances?
by Audra Jennings Wednesday, September 01, 2010
While serving with Focus on the Family, Daly has come face to face with many people dealing with heartbreaking trials. Yet on a trip to Beijing, China, when he asked a local missionary the question “How do you pray for us?” the answer was eye-opening. “We are praying…for the church in America to get more persecution.” Why would someone viewing the lives of believers living in the U.S. ask such a thing from God? Daly concluded that ours is viewed as a weak faith in need of strengthening.
As Daly began to examine his own life and the lives of those with whom he ministered, he observed that trial and persecution had a markedly different effect upon people, and he discovered that those who chose to surrender their situations to God—painful though they might be—grew stronger in their faith, while those who chose to face their trials alone with resentment and anger often turned their back on God—blaming Him for their circumstances. Daly’s latest book, Stronger: Trading Brokenness for Unbreakable Strength, explores the choices that lie at the crossroad of tragedy and presents a vision of strength that the Church and families can cling to during hard times.
Using life principles and personal stories, Daly reveals the most formidable and powerful strength—the kind that endures and hopes even when all seems hopeless. Daly states a profound truth he has observed in the lives of fellow believers: Christ alone is the one true foundation upon which we must stand and to whom we must cling when the going gets tough. Christ offers this strength to us all—not because we deserve it, but because He loves us. Unless we choose to live in Christ’s unbreakable strength, we will live lives broken by bitterness.
Is God to blame? Is He punishing His people? Drawing upon his own life experiences and of those with whom he has shared his ministry, Daly indicates that the opposite is true. God uses every circumstance in our life, whether He orchestrates it for a purpose, or allows it to occur, to show us His great love and continually invite us into closer relationship with Him. Daly states, “If we believe in a big God, one who is mighty enough to create the universe and every living creature in it, who is still actively making miracles and involved in our lives today, we possess a powerful hope. No matter how traumatic or tragic our circumstances, we know that anything is possible if it’s in His will. We ask for the Lord’s intervention in the great and minute issues of our lives, understanding that His power is unlimited.”
About the Author: Jim Daly joined the Focus on the Family staff over 20 years ago, initially in the ministry’s public affairs division. Since that time, he has worked extensively in the formation and development of the international outreach of the ministry serving as field director of Asia, Africa, and Australia. Serving in additional roles within marketing and public affairs, Daly continually accepted greater roles of responsibility until his most recent appointment in February 2005 as president and CEO of this internationally recognized family-centered ministry. He is the author of Finding Home: An Imperfect Path to Faith and Family, a deeply personal memoir. He resides in Colorado Springs with his wife, Jean, and two sons.
Stronger: Trading Brokenness for Unbreakable Strength by Jim Daly
David C Cook/September 1, 2010/ISBN: 978-1-4347-6446-1/237 pages/trade paperback/$14.99
Audra Jennings is Senior Media Specialist at The B & B Media Group. Since 1987, The B & B Media Group, Inc. has used its broadcasting, marketing and advertising experience to provide the specialized and strategic publicity necessary to achieve the public relations goals of each client. The Barnabas Agency, a division of The B & B Media Group, Inc., is a proven provider of exceptional public relations and personal management services for authors, speakers, ministries and organizations.
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